As the wise soothsayer in William Shakespeare’s Caesar warned, “Beware the Ides of March”.

In the case of Sean Garrity’s film Blood Pressure, beware the anonymous letter. However you want to look at it, Garrity’s psychological thriller will have you wondering the true development of this intriguing plot.

The film which screens on, (you guessed it) the Ides of March (March 15th), places title character Nicole Trestman in a difficult position after receiving an anonymous letter from a mysterious ‘friend’ stating: “You don’t know me, but I know you.”

And so it begins, or continues in the case of the 41-year-old pharmacist, bored wife and mother of self-absorbed teens who receives several more letters from her unknown admirer. Filmmaker Sean Garrity presents a scenario that at times is as believable as it is unbelievable which has us wondering why Nicole is putting up with such amateur behaviour. Is she so unhappy with her life in the ‘burbs’ and her annoying boss?

Blood Pressure screenshot, red writing on wall, Nicole reading note


Blood Pressure touches a much bigger nerve about communication and the lack of communication. For Nicole, she is bombarded with the breakdown in verbal communication in her world. She cannot voice concerns about her marriage with her spouse; the mother/daughter dynamic is such that there is a impenetrable boundary to discussion – the cliché of all teen angst. Ironically, this non-verbal means of communication in the form of a letter, is the most welcome means to communicate. This is Nicole’s escape from the mundane and where mystery lurks, spontaneity follows; the unknown source has her yearning for more.

Michelle Giroux delivers a quiet performance as Nicole –an unhappy woman who is taken for granted by those who are close to her. The movie delivers its share of requisite twists and turns and this plot keeps the audience guessing even up to the point where we finally meet this ‘secret admirer’.

Blood Pressure examines the concept that life is what we make it and a willingness to entertain the thought of existing outside of our common bubble, can bring something altogether unexpected.

Blood Pressure opens on March 15 at The Royal, 608 College Street.

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